Depression and Pregnancy - concerns

I'm sorry guys, but this is going to be a bit of a long one. I need to talk and ask some questions and for some advice.

I'm 34 years old and currently 30 weeks pregnant with my first, and long awaited child. I've had three miscarriages in the past and we've been trying for this one for a fair while. Two years ago, due to stress at work mainly, I had a breakdown. It was serious and I was extremely ill. During this time I was diagnosed with RDD (Recurrent Depressive Disorder). The doctors told me I would probably have to be on medication for the rest of my life, and since then I have been on quite a large dose of antidepressants, which more or less manage to keep me stable. I lost my job because of the Depression and since last April haven't worked. I'm working part time now, doing data entry from home, which is great, but my old job was as a Senior Ecological Consultant, which required my Doctorate and years of experience to do.

As I've been getting bigger and bigger with the baby I'm feeling increasingly worried. Everyone around me expects me to be ill.... to not be able to cope with the baby once its born. To have severe post natal depression and to get ill again.... and whats worse is that I'm scared of this myself. Is this likely? Is there anything I can do to stop this? I live in the back of beyond, and quite a way from close friends and family and although wonderful and supportive my husband works long hours and has to do a lot of overtime to help pay our mortgage, especially since I lost my job. I'm scared silly that I'm not going to be able to cope with the baby, and that I will 'live down' to everyones expectations of me. Whats also horrible, is though whilst I'm aware I haven't earnt it, I just wish that someone would believe in me and believe that I can do this.... but my friends and family are bracing themselves for me falling to pieces. And that just helps to confirm my worst fears about myself.

Has anyone else been in this situation? If so, what did you do? What can I do? I'm taking medication, both myself and my family know my warning signs.... but what do I do? Will I be able to cope? Am I likely to be passing on Depression to my child... because I wouldn't want to do that to my worst enemy..... are these fears that every soon-to-be-new mum has?

I'm feeling very alone at the moment and very scared and I don't know what to do or what to think. Any advice would be very very gratefully received!

Sorry for the length of the post.

Vicky

9 Replies

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  • Hey..Firstly congratulations on ur pregnancy..do u kno if ur having a boy or girl..any names?

    I myself hav not had depression but my boyfriend of 7yrs has and was hospitalised 6yrs ago and is also on medication so I kno a bit.

    Firstly anybody can get pnd or depression regardless of previous mental state..I think its harsh of ur family to assume the worst from u...they r meant to be supporting u..my son is nearly 17 weeks and in the early days I called upon family to help me..even with household chores as I struggled a bit and yes there were tears but I think I was overwhelmed. But if u feel like u need help ask..I bet every woman on here has asked for help..thts how some people develop pnd as they are scared to ask for help and with ur family and friends attitude I can see tht it might not b tht easy to ask for help. .alot of people thought my oh wud struggle and he had a little wobble but he has really stepped up and suprised himself and its lovely to see. .being a mum might b the best thing to happen to you and what a great feeling it wud b to say to the doubters. .told u I cud do it. .dont b afraid to show emotions and dont assume that crying is a bad thing here.

    Who knows what our children will have in the future so worrying about passing on depression is something I wouldn't think of as I say it can happen to anyone.

    I assume ur midwife knows..maybe her or a gp cud put u in contact with someone to tlk to about ur concerns.

    theres plenty of people on here to giv advice at all hours.

    Look after urself x

  • Thanks for the reply Ceribean. No, we dont know what we're having... my OH wants a boy, I've said I dont mind, but secretly I think I'd quite like a girl, but either is good! We have names for either... Tarran Joshua for a boy, Natasha Isobel for a girl.

    My Midwife and the docs are all well aware, I made it very clear to them right from the start, and of course they have been wonderful. My docs have been wonderful over the past two years, and the amount of times I've sat in the surgery and cried on them... well.... its been a lot! All the health practitioners have been so supportive and taken such good care of me... its been great. I do see a counsellor privately, who I've been seeing for the past two years. He too is a lifeline for me and is, as always, so supportive.

    Its just... the private fears you have... the ones at 2am when you get the 'Oh my god... I'm going to have a baby in ten weeks time!?! Crappppp...... can I cope? What am I thinking of?!?! You know what I get like when I dont get sleep... and I want a baby???!!!' Those kind of thoughts.... and when you know that your family are also having them... well.... it just gets me even more worried!

    I dont worry about asking for help, I learned the hard way that sometimes you have to.... I just hate the assumption from myself as much as anyone else, that I wont be able to do it. And what makes it worse is that one of my friends has just had twins and my sister in law has just had a baby, and they make it look so easy. Theyve already lost the baby weight, and are loving being mums... and are back to being the beautiful, bright, springy women they were pre-baby..... what if I cant live up to that example?

  • Ahh cute names..we knew we were having a boy and still cudnt decide till 5 mins after he was born....we went with finley. With ur friends and families babies. .u see them at their best but I am sure they hav days where there are tears and at their worst..i hav days like yesterday where i had nice clothes..did my hair and make up but today i look a state lol.

    Dont put pressure on urself to lose weight etc or compare urself to anyone. .if people want to judge u..let them. Someone made a comment to me and I said if all u hav to think about or discuss is me then ur own lives must b pretty crap..tht shut them up...The only reason I am bk to what size I was before is because I had severe sickness throughout and in hindsight shud of been on sickness tabs but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Its great tht u hav gd medical support. .

    I think every woman has them fears and not gonna lie at 3am when u hav a screaming baby its hard not to scream urself but u get there..I found.the first 8 weeks were a challenge but now my life is how I want it..we dont hav lots of money or a big house but my son has lots of love and thts all ur baby needs..xx

  • Hey! Firstly, you are an incredibly brave lady! Not many people would be so honest and ask for help like you are!

    I love the names!! Tarran is lovely and very unique! :)

    I can't relate to the depression personally but I have friends who have been through it.

    Your support network sounds amazing! Your doctor's and midwife will look after you as long as you need it. Have they discussed or have you thought about how you will feed baby, as feeding can be a really big cause of stress particularly in the 1st few weeks.

    We all have the worries about sleep, PND, how we will cope and little things like getting back into shape!!

    There is always that feeling like you have to be like other mum's you know, but for all you know, behind the scenes they might be putting on a front and could actually be finding it hard! It's so easy for me to say but don't think about what other people are doing, all babies are different, we all have our own opinions and ideas on how we want thibgs to be done.

    It takes a strong person to come out of what you have, I think you will make a brilliant mum! X

  • I don't have any experience with depression however I really felt I should reply when I read your '2am concerns'. I had these exact same worries at about the same stage you're at. All of my friends already had babies and we're on number 2 and all looking fab. The only baby experience I had was nearly 20 years ago when my youngest brother was born and I was 13!

    The most common thing I would say to my husband was you do actually realise they're just going to give us a baby to take home??? What will we do with it?? Which my husband found hilarious.

    To help we had a private 2 to 1 session for a few hours with a private midwife who gave us loads of practical baby care advice - how to feed, wind, settle, change nappies, bath baby, dress and undress etc... This sounds really basic but I found it so reassuring.

    With regards to the sleep thing - my husband as I found is TERRIBLE with no sleep so I did all the night feeds and he did loads of stuff in day and let me have a sleep. When you're really feeling tired you do just look at them and it becomes worth it. In times of difficulty when they're crying hand them to hubby or put them down and take 5 mins in another room. Accepting the fact that they are babies and sometimes they just are going to cry really helps. And they will always stop crying and sleep at some point!!

    Your concerns are all perfectly normal and you're getting lots of support which is fantastic - I think you're going to be a great Mummy xxx

  • Hey. I don't have depression but have a tendency to get very low at times. Had a bit of a difficult birth experience with my boy and while I loved him instantly, I found myself really struggling. I was in hospital for a week and cried basically the whole time. When my baby came back from scbu after 4 days, I didn't have a clue how to cope with him and being ill at the same time. When I came home it improved slightly but I was still crying constantly and when on my own, wondering what on earth I was thinking having a child and changing my life that way, that I'd never cope. The doctor offered me antidepressants but I refused them. It was weird but literally one day I got up and it just clicked. I didn't feel as sad and scared anymore and stopped crying all the time. I started to enjoy the night feeds.

    The beginning may be filled with tears and feeling scared and alone...it is a possibility. However, that doesn't mean you will slip into PND. It's a huge ordeal for your hormones and that can take a while to settle. You know what to look out for in yourself so that helps. But Rey to believe in yourself and start on an even footing with every other new mum.

    As for the weight loss and all that jazz....I'm only just starting to work on that now! My baby is 17and a half weeks. I look good sometimes, like crap the rest. I'm together one minute and have days where I'm so disorganised I may as well have just stayed on bed fir all I get achieved lol. You'll find that most people are the same....and most of those that don't seem it hide it well lol xx

  • bless ya, u have so much going on inside ur head at the moment, I'm sure ur near bursting! I was treated for depression 2years ago as they found out my body doesnt make enough serotonin (which is our happy hormone) and I was not in a great state. I too have worried about PND but my OH knows my past and will be on hand should anything pop up.

    I think ur family are just really worried and are not showing it in the right way. Rather than adding to ur fears by saying they believe u will get it, they should be telling u that they will help u cross that bridge if it happens. I dont believe u are at any increased risk due to ur history than any one else who has gave birth. If it does happen, it sounds like ur docs, midwife and counsellor will be ur main lifeline but please dont forget u have this site and there is usually several people on at any given time who will let u vent it out and support u. Even though u live out in the sticks, there are plenty of avenues u can use in the heat of the moment, maybe jot down some numbers of 24hr advice lines and keep them by the phone.

    By voicing ur concerns now, u have shown how strong u really are. Asking for help and reaching out to others when u feel overwhelmed takes guts and bravery. U can do this! U will make an outstanding mum and in 10wks time or so, u will be holding ur little bundle with pride. Don't worry if u cry or cant get back into shape as quickly as u'd hoped, ur body has been through the most traumatic experience it will ever go through because u have just created a human life inside u and thats such a wonderful thing. Anyone who tells u that u dont look good is a waster and should be ignored. We booked our first family holiday for Sept this yr and my OH has asked me how I would feel wearing swimwear (referring to the tiger pattern now on my entire stomach haha) I just told him straight, if people look at me in disgust, its their problem. I'm proud to say that my body carried a little mite for 9 months and its destruction is testament to the worthwhile struggle. Besides, if u beam with a smile from ear to ear, ur face lights up and no-one will be looking anywhere else besides ur beautiful face :) xx

  • I understand how you're feeling - I've not had a breakdown, but have had depression and a serious eating disorder. When I told people I was pregnant, I had the "How do you feel about your body changing so much?", type questions. At the moment, I genuinely don't care because I need to look after the baby inside me. But, the questions have left me scared about how I may feel once the baby is here.

    I don't know if you had any therapy or treatment, such as C.B.T? If so (and this is what I'm planning on doing), it is worth revisiting any of those techniques which helped you through the breakdown and learn to recognise any triggers or 'symptoms' of feeling depressed. If you have/had a therapist, you could get in touch with them too and talk about your concerns (as well a speaking to your midwife?). Another thing to try is a helpline or website for post natal depression.

    As for your friends and family, have they actually said to you they think you will be ill after the baby is born? If so, perhaps you could reply to these comments, in person or via email if you're uncomfortable speaking face to face. Explain that although they're concerned, their comments are unhelpful. You need positivity and a support network you're fully aware of the situation and are also worried. Also mention that you don't want to "live down to their expectations" either.

    If they've not actually said these things, approach the subject before them, but start the topic with something like "I get the feeling you think I will be unwell after the baby is born...". Remember, the reason people may think or say these things is not because they don't think you will cope, it is because they care about you.

    Hope this helps, you are not alone! Xx

  • Hi, I hope you don't mind, I've messaged you directly as it was a long reply and went into a bit more depth than I wanted to post publicly, I do hope the support from the members here is helping.x

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